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Netrins stimulate and orient axon growth through a mechanism requiring receptors of the DCC family. It has been unclear, however, whether DCC proteins are involved directly in signaling or are mere accessory proteins in a receptor complex. Further, although netrins bind cells expressing DCC, direct binding to DCC has not been demonstrated. Here we show that netrin-1 binds DCC and that the DCC cytoplasmic domain fused to a heterologous receptor ectodomain can mediate guidance through a mechanism involving derepression of cytoplasmic domain multimerization. Activation of the adenosine A2B receptor, proposed to contribute to netrin effects on axons, is not required for rat commissural axon outgrowth or Xenopusspinal axon attraction to netrin-1. Thus, DCC plays a central role in netrin signaling of axon growth and guidance independent of A2B receptor activation.